I was so excited to receive my new X52 Pro HOTAS joystick and throttle, but then I discovered they just don’t make them like they used to. So I bought the Logitech Saitek X52 Joystick Spring Modification kit from Ebay.
I bought a brand new X52 Pro joystick and discovered it is way too loose in the center of the joystick travel where the spring tension is the weakest. The weak spring tension causes the pilot to overshoot control inputs right where they need to make precise adjustments. Fortunately, TerraVestra’s Spring Plate kit was the remedy I needed. The kit is inexpensive, 3D printed, easy to install, and made in the USA.
The kit includes four spacers of different widths that correspond to four different spring tensions. I used the 5mm wide spacer, which is the widest. If you need more spring tension than that, you can also stack the spacers on top of each other. The spacers fit on both the Logitech X52 and the X52 Pro. The manufacturer includes a handy installation tool. Bonus: this does not void the warranty and you don’t have to disassemble anything.
Here is the installation video, which is also available on their Ebay listing.
The increased spring tension helps a lot! The spacer pushes down on the spring which increases tension between the spring plate and the joystick housing. But the increased tension also brings increased friction. I easily remedied this by applying a thin coat of bearing grease to the bottom of the spring plate (see picture). If you don’t have bearing grease, try lithium grease. Lithium grease is probably better for plastic anyway.
I’m truly excited about how affordable it is to build a home flight simulator. If you are in the market for flight sim hardware like a joystick, yoke, rudder pedals, throttle quadrant, etc. now could be your time to buy. For example, the Logitech G X52 Pro HOTAS joystick and throttle is just $199 now on Amazon. Don’t forget to modify your X52 throttle to get rid of that pesky detent with this handy DIY Flight Sims tutorial (free) https://youtu.be/3TrDCO-FMBI
Not to mention the many choices we have today for flight simulator controls. I remember trying to hack and modify the old CH Products rudder pedals simply because they were the only ones on the market. I eventually ended up buying better rudder pedals from an obscure German manufacturer.
Your display is an important part of your flight sim hardware. The options we have for displays today are a thousand times better than what was available when I built my first home flight simulator in 2004. Back then, to get any sort of immersion your only choice was to use a big projected screen. A LCD projector cost about $1000 in 2004, and that’s the equivalent of $1600 today. However, the projectors of the time were only 640×480 resolution! Today, you can get a 75″ 4K TV for $550 at Best Buy.
In addition, all graphics cards now support multiple displays, but that was unheard of back in 2004. Back then, you had to have a special external video card and adapters to run a triple display.
And what about computers? The long-awaited crypto crash finally came last year, and soon after the prices for graphics cards finally came down to reasonable levels. I was so happy about the price of my new computer I added something extra… an extended warranty from Microcenter.